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Star Wars, discovered by Mirek Wojtowicz, is perhaps the most beautiful and intriguing Cellular Automata rule. It's a successful combination of famous Brian's Brain with a stabilising factor: 345/2/4, where: 3,4, and 5 are Survival rules, 2 is Birth rule (like in Brain's Brain), and last 4 means 4 states of cells.
In Star Wars most cells travel horizontally and vertically at light speed in all sorts of Hauler-like formations. Many formations resemble space ships, often shooting missiles, what gave me an idea for the rule name. Sometimes magically some cells start to self-organize, they try to build more or less stable configurations (colonies?). Many of those configurations create guns of all periods and shapes. It's fun to watch how they build the colonies - the internal parts get stable, and many single cells are running around and building slowly outer parts (what resembles termites building or guarding mounds). At least they try - often missiles from other colonies destroy their work...
Some patterns are unbelievably stable. Especially three simple ones: a cross, a shield, and a double shield - they can survive most of attacks. Sometimes the rails are built. Rails are totally indestructible from long sides. But also they have an Achilles heel - well-shot missiles can successfully attack their ends, guarded by termites.
The Star Wars rule is perfect for creating interesting patterns. Some samples can be found in the Users Corner.
Sample pattern showing the beauty of Star Wars rule
to be continued...
|Webmaster: Mirek Wójtowicz
Last update: 15 Jun 1999